Pedro Almodovar Rejoins the Spanish Film Academy

The director returns seven years after the dispute over voting procedures that led to his departure.


MADRID – Seven years after the bitter dispute over voting procedures that led to his departure, Spain’s most international director Pedro Almodovar has rejoined the Spanish Film Academy.

“It’s a personal decision,” Almodovar’s brother and producer Agustin Almodovar told the Spanish daily El Pais for why he and his brother had renewed their membership to the Spanish academy.

The move, made just days ahead of an election to fill the academy presidency left prematurely vacant by Alex De la Iglesia after a public falling out with the culture minister over an anti-download law, was widely seen as a show of support for De la Iglesia.

“What a great farewell present,” De la Iglesia told El Pais upon hearing the news. “One of my main objectives as president was to unite all the members and the news of Almodovar’s return is a way of showing my work wasn’t totally in vain. Pedro once again shows himself to be a gentleman and one of the most elegant and generous people I know.”

After not showing up at the academy’s Goya awards ceremony for years — even when his Bad Education was nominated for best director -- Almodovar made a surprise reappearance at the 2010 ceremony and specifically credited De la Iglesia’s charm and persistence for his presence.